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Consumers flock to online marketplaces

A new report highlights the steadily increasing uptake of online marketplaces by consumers globally, with 92 per cent of Australian consumers reporting that they expected to maintain or increase their marketplace usage into 2022.

The 2022 State of Online Marketplace Adoption report, released by enterprise marketplace platform Mirakl, reveals that the eCommerce landscape has shifted in response to rising consumer expectations around rapid delivery, product quality and variety, and lower pricing.

Two-thirds of consumers surveyed globally prefer e-commerce sites with online marketplaces according to the study, and 70 per cent say online marketplaces are the most convenient way to shop.

The global survey is comprised of insights from 9000 consumers from nine countries across Australasia, Europe, North America and South America.

“The onset of the pandemic accelerated many changes in consumer behaviours that were already in place, with consumers turning to e-commerce options that were more convenient, faster, more reliable, and accessible on the run or from the comfort of their own home,” Mirakl’s co-founder and co-CEO, Adrien Nussenbaum, said.

“Globally, nearly half (44 per cent) of consumers increased their use of marketplaces over the last 12 months, and two-thirds (66 per cent) of consumers prefer e-commerce websites that have an online marketplace over those that do not.

“Consumers globally see marketplaces as better positioned to meet their needs, with 60 per cent of Australian respondents identifying online marketplaces as the most convenient way to shop today,” Nussenbaum added. “Roughly half of Australians clearly prefer e-commerce websites that have an online marketplace over those that do not, giving retailers a clear mandate to explore this innovative business model.

“Importantly for retailers, Australian shoppers on online marketplaces do their homework. Our survey data shows that over half of Aussie respondents will research a third-party seller before making a purchase on an online marketplace, with the majority of those checking the seller’s reviews,” Nussenbaum said.

The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic also saw a sharp rise in the use of online marketplaces, with Australians’ usage of these marketplaces almost doubling from 26 per cent in 2019 to 43 per cent in 2020 and holding steady at that amount in 2021.

The report noted that high-volume, high-value online “power shoppers” in Australia, those who shop online once a week or more, conduct almost half (45 per cent) of their online purchases on online marketplaces, compared with 33 per cent for the average Australian. Two-thirds of these power shoppers in Australia said that they wish more of their favourite retailers had such.

“In a time characterised by sudden changes, unpredictability and a need for flexibility, marketplaces are steadily gaining popularity among consumers, giving retailers the means to meet their customers’ rising expectations,” Nussenbaum said.

“This is no clearer than when considering power shoppers, whose shopping habits are leading the increasing popularity of online marketplaces. With 92 per cent of Australians expecting to maintain or increase their use of online marketplaces into 2022 and beyond, the number of retailers launching online marketplaces is sure to continue its growth, driven by popularity with consumers and retailers alike.”

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